You may know that Denver is known as the Mile High City. But did you know where it gets its nickname from? The 13th step of the State Capitol Building, on the west side of the building, is exactly one mile above sea level. There are probably other versions of that around the city now, but that is how the city originally got its name.
While you may know that the air is different in this city, you might not be aware that the air makes golf balls go ten percent further than they would anywhere else in the country. This is excellent news if you decide to add a round of golf to your list of things to do in Denver when you are visiting.
Of course, there are many other cool things to do in Denver. Family vacations can be filled with things to do in Denver with kids or even free things to do in Denver today. However, if you are seeking a little romance, you will want to plan a few of the romantic things to do in Denver. There are so many fun things to do in Denver this weekend, so you should never be at a loss for something to do when you are there on vacation.
30 Things to Do in Denver
1. Visit the United States Mint
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All that change in your pocket had to have been made somewhere. That somewhere could be the United States Mint in Denver, Colorado. This is one of the branches of the US Mint. This location opened back in 1863. The whole production produces approximately fifty million coins each day. A visit to the mint is one of the best things to do in Denver in April or November.
2. Hit the Slopes for a Little Skiing
You cannot spend any time in Denver for a vacation and not take the time to hit the slopes! Skiing is one of the best things to do in Denver this week! It is also one of the best things to do in Denver in December and January. There are numerous ski resorts to choose from for your skiing adventures. We recommend checking out Vail Mountain Resort, Beaver Creek Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort, or the Loveland Ski Area. If you are searching for one of the top 10 things to do in Denver, skiing must be at the top of that list!
3. Visit the Molly Brown House Museum
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How many times have you watched the movie, Titanic? If you have seen it at least once, you must stop into the Molly Brown House Museum when you are vacationing in Denver. You will find this museum within the Capitol Hill District of the city. Margaret “Molly” Brown was the character who was portrayed by Kathy Bates in the movie. Brown was known for much more than her time on the Titanic. She was also active in the women’s suffrage movement and was part of the mining industry in the state. Visiting this museum is one of the unique things to do in Denver. It is best to add this museum to your list of things to do in Denver in July or things to do in Denver in August if you happen to encounter a rainy day.
4. Explore the Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum has an impressive amount of artwork for you to see. All the exhibits, filled with over seventy thousand works of art, are within two different buildings. You can see western American art, contemporary art, and so much more. If you are looking for unique souvenirs, you must check out the gift shop before you leave. This is one of the better things to do in Denver in September, but you can also add it to your list of things to do in Denver in October.
5. Take a Tour of Denver’s Union Station
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You might not think taking a tour of a railroad station is something that will interest you. However, once you step into Denver’s Union Station, you will be shocked at what you see and learn! This station opened back in 1881. A fire destroyed it in 1894 and it reopened back in 1917. That structure is the one you will see today. In addition to the trains and buses, you will find restaurants, boutiques, and the Crawford Hotel. The end of your tour will be at the Terminal Bar. You will receive a complimentary drink, so you can get refreshed before continuing your day. Yes, this may be one of the weird things to do in Denver. But it is one of the things you will never forget! It is best to add this to one of your things to do in Denver in June.
6. Grab a Beer at the Coors Brewery
The Coors Brewery opened back in 1873. It may be fifteen miles away from the city of Denver, but it is well worth the drive. A tour of the Coors Brewery is one of the best things to do in Denver in March and basically any other month you are visiting. The tours at this brewery are self-guided. But you will still learn quite a bit bout the malting and brewing process during those thirty minutes of your tour. Beer samples are available at the tasting room at the end of your tour. Surprisingly, this is one of the fun things to do in Denver with kids. The kids will love walking through the entire brewery, and they can enjoy some soda when you are drinking your brew.
7. Explore the Denver Botanic Gardens
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Spring is the best time to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens. Therefore, we recommend you add it to your list of things to do in Denver in April or your things to do in Denver in May. This time of the year is when the flowers are blooming, and everything smells and looks fabulous! There are fifty gardens to wander through in the twenty-four acres of space. When you are not looking at the flowers, your eyes will be drawn to the different sculptures scattered around the grounds. There are guided tours available at these gardens, so do not feel as if you need to explore them on your own.
8. Drive Along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Are you looking for fun things to do in Denver this weekend? The Mount Evans Scenic Byway will take you up approximately nine thousand feet in elevation to the top of Mount Evans. This is a two-lane road that is filled with numerous lookout areas. This is perfect because you can stop multiple times to see the Rocky Mountains from different vantage points. It is best to take your time when tackling this drive, because there are steep drop offs that you will not be aware of. Plus, taking your time will allow you to get used to the elevation changes. We recommend adding this to your list of things to do in Denver in July or your list of things to do in August. The weather is the nicest then and you won’t run into any snow.
9. Spend a Little Time at the Denver Zoo
More than four thousand animals live at the Denver Zoo. This is one of the fun things to do with kids in Denver. There are eighty acres to roam around at this zoo inside City Park. Predator Ridge is where you will see lions and hyenas, while it is all about the monkeys over at Primate Panorama. Don’t forget to ride the carousel and train during your visit, because they both offer experiences you will never forget! It is best to add this zoo to your things to do in Denver in June list, because the animals will be quite active during your visit.
10. Go Shopping at 16th Street Mall
The 16th Street Mall is about one mile in length. The entire mall is filled with stores, entertainment venues, and restaurants. The MallRide shuttle bus makes it easy to get from one end of the mall to the other, as well as everywhere in between. This is a wonderful place to do a little people watching. This may not be one of the best things to do at night in Denver, but it is an excellent daytime option when you are looking for things to do in Denver tomorrow.
11. Visit Craft Breweries
If you do not want to visit Coors Brewery, or simply do not like that beer, you have other options when you are on vacation in Denver. There are plenty of craft breweries in this city. The list is endless, but start with Stem Ciders, Great Divide, Ratio, and Mockery. While visiting craft breweries are not free things to do in Denver, they are fun things to do in Denver today.
12. Walk Around Larimer Square
Larimer Square is where the first pioneer camp was located in the city of Denver. This square is on every tour you may take when you are having fun on your Denver vacation. You do not need to take a tour to walk around Larimer Square though. There are plenty of maps available, so you will never get lost when looking for things to do in this part of Denver this weekend.
13. Explore MCA Denver
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MCA Denver is also called the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. The current location of this museum is its second one. The first location was opened back in 1996. But this second location is much bigger, and they moved into it in 2007. There are five galleries filled with unique works of art. If you find you are not a fan of the art, you can always spend your time in the rooftop café. This is one of the better things to do in Denver with teenagers, because they might appreciate the comical, yet creepy, works of art inside.
14. Get Overwhelmed at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Park is comprised of more than eight hundred acres of land. You may have heard of this amphitheater, as it has been popular since U2 first performed there back in 1983. If you can’t see a performance, you can at least hike the trails that are everywhere throughout the park. The steps in the amphitheater are also perfect for getting your sweat on, while killing your legs at the same time.
15. Go for a Hike
There are so many things to do in Denver, Colorado that are outside. Whether you are looking for things to do in Denver in February or things to do in Denver in October, hiking is going to be the obvious choice. Yes, you will have to deal with snow in February, and maybe even October. But that snow will just make the surrounding areas look even more beautiful when you hit the trails! If hiking is on your list of best things to do in Denver, Colorado, then we recommend considering the trails on Lookout Mountain. You can also check out the Flatirons with their sandstone formations.
16. Go Antiquing at SoBo
SoBo is the antique row of the city of Denver. You will find this antique area over near Platt Park by South Broadway. This is the perfect place to go if you are searching for antique furniture, folk art, or something else to remember your time in Denver. Antiquing is not one of the best things to do in Denver today with kids. But kids should be able to handle an hour or so of perusing the shops. This is the perfect solution when searching for things for couples to do in Denver though, so keep it in mind if you have someone to watch the kids or are taking a trip without the kids. We recommend adding this to your list of things to do in Denver in May, because it is easier to go in and out of the shops when the weather is nicer.
17. Get Your Science on at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
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The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is one of the best things to do in Denver, Colorado with kids. As an adult, you will definitely not be bored when you are visiting this museum with your family. The interactive exhibits will keep the entire family engaged for hours. Don’t forget to check out the planetarium as well before you leave!
18. See a Performance at the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Denver is an excellent place to see the ballet, opera, orchestra, and even a Broadway show. You can see all those, as well as concerts and plays, at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. You can catch a performance at any time of the year at this complex. However, our favorite time to visit is during the spring, summer, or fall. That is when the warmer weather brings performances to the outdoor area called Sculpture Park. While you can put this attraction on your to do list any time, we happen to love adding it to our list of things to do in Denver in September.
19. Learn How to Rock Climb
Are you yearning for things to do in Denver this week that will enhance your skills a little? Learning how to rock climb is one of the best things to do in Denver, Colorado today. We recommend contacting a climbing school in the city, so you have a professional showing you the ropes. The good news is that just about anyone can go rock climbing when they are on vacation in Denver. This is one of the things to do in Denver, CO that you will remember for the rest of your life if you add it to your itinerary and don’t chicken out!
20. Visit the Downtown Aquarium
There are so many things to do with kids in Denver, Colorado. One of the favorites is spending time visiting the downtown aquarium. There are more than five hundred different species of animals living in the water at this aquarium. We recommend starting with watching the mermaid show and then checking out the flash flood exhibit. From there, you can see the marine life before interacting with a sting ray in the touch tank and grabbing a drink at the Dive Lounge.
21. Visit the Denver Public Library
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Are you always wishing your kids would read more? Do you crave a little downtime when you are on vacation? The Denver Public Library has solutions to both those things, but you must take the time to visit when you are in Denver! Spending time at the Denver Public Library is one of the best things to do in Denver this weekend. There are two million items to peruse, including movies, books, photographs, and materials to reference. You can get lost amongst it all, while your kids participate in story time and craft time.
22. Pretend to Hit the Skies at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
One of the top things to do in Denver, Colorado is visiting the Air and Space Museum. In fact, it could be considered one of the top 10 things to do in Denver! You will find this museum inside an Air Force hangar from the 1930s. The one hundred fifty thousand square feet of space holds approximately fifty space crafts and air crafts. Everyone is encouraged to try out the apparatus, so your kids will love pretending to be pilots during your visit. This is an excellent option on a stormy day when you are looking for things to do in Denver in November or December.
23. Explore the Colorado State Capitol
Exploring the Colorado State Capitol is one of the things to do this weekend in Denver. While this is one of the top things to do in downtown Denver, you don’t need to worry that a visit will take up too much of your time. An hour or two is all you will need to explore this entire building with a tour guide. The one thing you must do at the capitol is climb the narrow staircase up to the dome. That is where you will see spectacular views of the surrounding area.
24. Children’s Museum of Denver
Do your kids dislike museums? Well, during a vacation in Denver, they will love spending time in the Children’s Museum of Denver! There are plenty of hands-on and interactive activities and exhibits. Kids will love visiting the grocery market, wood working workshop, and the caves. You cannot visit this city with kids without adding this to your list of things to do today in Denver. This is one of the perfect things to do in Denver in January or one of the best things to do in Denver in February when there are storms, and it is too yucky outside for skiing.
25. Take a Rocky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Ride
Are you considering a vacation where you need a few romantic things to do in Denver? If you answered yes, then you must consider a Rocky Mountain Hot Air Balloon ride. This is one of the best things to do in Denver this weekend when you are on a romantic vacation. This is actually one of the things to do in Denver, CO during the early morning hours. However, you may get lucky and get to experience this activity when you are looking for things to do in Denver tonight.
26. Consider Ice Skating
Ice skating is one of the other things to do in Denver in winter. There are a few options when it comes to ice skating rinks. The most popular is the rink over at Skyline Park. But you will also find rinks at the Shops at Northfield and at Four Mile Historic Park.
27. Take a Tour of Hammond’s Candy Factory
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There are quite a few secret things to do in Denver, but touring the Hammond’s Candy Factory is not one of them! This is one of the fun things to do in Denver, Colorado that everyone in your family will love. There is no charge for touring this candy factory, so a visit even fits in the free things to do in Denver today category! Although it should be in the cheap things to do in Denver category, because you know you won’t leave without spending a little bit of money on candy! There are all sorts of lollipops, ribbon candy, and candy canes to choose from, so plan on being there for a while as everyone makes their final decisions of what to buy.
28. Go Go-Karting at Unser Karting
One of the more unusual things to do in Denver is spending time riding the go-karts at Under Karting. This is one of the top things to do in Denver at night, because there is nothing better than racing under the lights. If you have never driven a go-kart before, you can take a class to learn.
29. Go Sledding or Tubing
There are so many things to do in Denver in winter. If you cannot ski, or you are tired of skiing, you can choose to go sledding or tubing. There are quite a few free sledding hills available in Denver, but Ruby Hill is the best of them all. If you don’t mind paying for an amazing tubing experience, then you must head over to Fraser Tubing Hill. That hill is over by Winter Park and you will never want to go tubing anywhere else again once you have been there!
30. Check Out the Ice Castles
When you are looking for things to do in Denver in March, it will be too late for the ice castles. The ice castles are only open during the months of January and February. Therefore, you will want to plan your trip to Denver, CO carefully if you want to wander around these ice structures. Checking out the ice castles are one of the cool things to do in Denver in winter.
Here are the 30 best things to do in Denver when you are there for your next vacation. As you are looking for things to do in Colorado, Denver, you will want to keep in mind what you and your family love to do when you are at home and on vacation. After all, there is no point in adding certain things to do in Denver to your itinerary if no one in your family is interested in doing those things. This list of things to do in Denver will get you started with planning your amazing trip to Denver. But keep an open mind, because you never know what you will find to do in Denver once you arrive!